Laksa’s many compellingly delicious faces in Malaysia

Laksa kuah putih gives the humble white pepper a dominant role in a way that few dishes do – it’s the predominant flavour in the thick coconut milk gravy, with a supporting cast of shallots, ginger and lemongrass. A squeeze of lime freshens the gravy after its slow cooking treatment.


In the state, its purity of colour is maintained by the common use of tenggiri, with its marble-pale flesh, in homes. If you buy it from a street vendor though, you’re likely to find the cheaper ikan kembung instead.


The kuah putih, or white gravy, sees its noodles in a simpler, cleaner, milder gravy. It’s particularly popular in Kelantan, where it’s synonymous with the eponymous Laksa Kelantan.


Skirting the coasts of Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang – and finding their way to Johor on occasion – these are the Rose Red and Snow White of a very different (and delicious) fairy tale.


In continuing our homage to the not-so-humble bowl of laksa, we travel first to Malaysia’s East Coast, and then take a sea journey to Sarawak. Click the link for